Stop 1080 Baits Poisoning Our Wildlife
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City of Parramatta and The Hills Shire Council are baiting the following reserves
- Bidjigal Reserve
- Eric Mobbs Reserve
- Excelsior Reserve
- Ted Horwood Reserve
- Lot 51 Cadwells Road Kenthurst
- Lake Parramatta Reserve
1080, is a poison used in Australia extensively to kill so-called “pest” species.
1080 is banned in most countries, including the US, where it was outlawed in the early 1970s because of civilian deaths.
Although attempts are made to limit the species affected, animals and birds who feed on poisoned corpses can be killed, too. Humans are also at risk if they ingest the chemical.
In addition, poisoned animals may contaminate nearby waterways. Faecal contamination of waterways by wallabies killed by 1080 has been raised as an issue in parliamentary enquiries. Since the poison is highly soluble, it spreads very quickly through water and up food chains. And because its presence is difficult to detect, it could be a plausible weapon in bio terrorism.
1080 is toxic to all living species, including microbes, plants, insects, birds, and humans. In mammals, it causes birth defects, reduced fertility, and damage to the reproductive system, brain, heart, and other organs. Anecdotal evidence indicates that its use may be linked to an increased risk of developing cancer.
In dogs, the signs of poisoning are usually noticeable within half an hour of ingestion but can take more than six hours to show. Symptoms include vomiting, anxiety, disorientation, and shaking. These quickly develop into frenzied behaviour with running and screaming fits, drooling, uncontrolled paddling, and seizures, followed by total collapse and death. This agony may go on for up to 48 hours.
It is colourless, odourless, and tasteless and is therefore easily ingested by companion animals as well as native species. Its victims – intended or otherwise – experience a slow, agonising death.
Humane, long-term population-control techniques do exist. Possible solutions include immunocontraception for target animals. In one European study, a long-lasting fertility suppressant succeeded in establishing an 89 per cent reduction in the fertility of feral female goats that lasted for at least two years after treatment. And immunocontraception has already been used on companion dogs in some situations.
Other humane methods include reducing the availability of appropriate shelter and placing exclusion fencing at appropriate points.
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